Something I have thought about from time to time: why don’t more churches target the wealthy, as a group?
Sure, we have missionaries and ‘mission trips’ to Third World countries; there are a number of churches operating inner-city missions and soup kitchens, etc., minstering to the homeless, the hungry, the poor, alcoholics and drug addicts and whores in the streets, etc. There are ethnic outreach ministries, targeting ethnic minorities in big cities with services in their own language (along with ESL lessons, citizenship classes, and the like). There are prison ministries and chaplaincies, sharing Christ’s message of hope with those in prison. There are chaplaincies in the armed forces, to police and firefighters, etc., ministering to those who put their lives on the line for the rest of us. There are youth ministries; seniors’ ministries; couples’ ministries, men’s ministries, women’s ministries, etc.
But why not a ministry to the well-off?
I’m not sure exactly how we such a thing might be accomplished, though I can think of how NOT to do it: don’t do it when you’re supposed to be doing something else. If any of you have seen the 2000 movie ‘The Big Kahuna’ (and if you haven’t, you should; a great drama that’s akin to a stage play, mostly focused on the interactions between three men in a hospitality suite in a hotel; Kevin Spacey is great as always), you may recall the young evangelical new employee who proselytizes the boss of a company whose business the three men are courting for their own company, rather than trying to sell him on their product – the reason they were there, in a hotel far from home. Not wise.
But his discussing matters eternal with ‘The Big Kahuna’ at a cocktail party did make me think: why not such a setting? If people will go into the inner city and prepare and serve meals at soup kitchens (I did so with a church group at the church I attended in the Albany, New York area when I lived there for a year), why not hold a cocktail party at a lounge somewhere, targeting the type of people who would go for such a thing? (This would of course only work for the kinds of churches that are comfortable with alcoholic beverages, whether personally partaking or simply being comfortable around others doing so.) Or a dinner cruise aboard a yacht, or a formal dress ball, whatever?
I know; I just posted a rant about glorified vacations in the form of ostensible ‘mission trips’, and I’d hate to see the same thing happen with such a ministry to the rich – or for non-rich people to be ‘posers’, dressing up and acting like something they aren’t, just for kicks, or to try to make business contacts to get ahead (the reverse of what the evangelical character in ‘The Big Kahuna’ did), etc. Which is why I’d prefer rich Christians themselves, those who already live the lifestyles of the well-heeled, who can afford to put on such events, who own such yachts, etc., to volunteer to organize such things themselves, for their non-believing counterparts, rather than the middle-class and poorer, who can’t afford to live that way often and for whom such things aren’t normal, everyday kinds of events.
What do you say, rich brethren and sisters?
What have you got to lose, other than perhaps of course your worldly respectability. 😉